Thoughts about what support is, and what it isn’t

These thoughts are randomly coursing through my mind as I sit here waiting on the support number for HP. I purchased an HP laptop for business use about 2 years ago, and it has had a few problems. It’s a great unit: AMD64, 1 GB ram, big disk, nVidia graphics. Would love to get something like this again when I buy the next one in about 6-9 months.

Most recent issues have been with the lid and the USB ports. The lid uses a friction mechanism to stay open, and if the lid gets bumped in a specific way, the friction mechanism doesn’t work so well. Which means the lid flops back and forth easily. This is not conducive to good laptop usage, or LCD longevity. The USB ports appear to be losing their ability to make good electrical contacts. That is normal wear and tear.

Ok, so I purchased an extended warranty on this unit. I figured something might happen to it, and the bet was relatively inexpensive (under 10% of the overall purchase price). I haven’t had a laptop yet that has not had problems.

So I pull out my advanced card thingy from HP, the one I paid extra for, in order to have “business class service” on the unit. More about this in a minute.

Called the number. Navigated through 4-5 layers of voice/key activated menus. Typical, would prefer to speak to a human, but HP and the rest seem to be under the impression that menus lower their costs. They can hire fewer support people in India and other lower cost locales.

Well, now I am at the right spot, and I am in queue. Have been, with the phone on speaker-phone for the last 53 minutes.

Let me ask, is this support? I don’t think so.

What we want, for laptops, for HPC, for anything, is early access into report a problem. Lets get that into queue as quickly as possible. Then call me back within 8 hours when you get to that item. I’ll walk you through the problem.

I have been listening to a nice female voice cheerily provide some sort of repetitive torture of their poor listeners, explaining that we will get better support on the web, or our call will be answered by the next available agent. 56 minutes in. It repeats about every 30-60 seconds.

Oh, by the way, they are telling me all about virus and spyware protection, as this may be the cause of my problems.

Uh huh.

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